Eight Steps to Better Deals From Trade Shows

trade show imageMarketing Sherpa (7/16.09) reported that one trade show exhibitor did just that – and closed deals that were 36% larger! The exhibitor, a large insurance company, decided to “flip the whole thing on its head.”

Instead of talking about themselves, they decided to talk about their clients instead. So, they created “Client World,” transforming their exhibit into a display that highlighted their clients’ services, rather than their own.

Some of what they did relies on bigger resources than small companies typically have (such as paying for clients to attend, reserving an entire floor at a nearby hotel for meetings and networking, and purchasing client products), however, here’s the takeaway that you can adapt:

1. Feature your clients (not yourself).

Give them the opportunity to tell their stories in video testimonials. If you’re a video expert, you’ve already got the tools; if not a $200 Flip camera will do the job.

2. Write case studies from the clients’ point of view.

Highlight the ways that your products or services helped them sell their services.

3. Tell your clients what you’re doing.

Invite them to the show (if you can swing it). If not, showcase their products and services at your booth and feature them in a booth giveaway.

4. Hold your own mini-event.

Have a cocktail party (or other get-together including food) so that your clients (and the people you want to reach) can meet, talk to each other, and talk to you.

5. Give away clients’ products.

Feature the products in your booth and offer them as prizes.

6. Promote the event to your house list.

Generate advance interest, and encourage the recipients to register for the event and your networking party.

7. Use on-site scanners to record attendees’ badges every time they interact with you or your staff.

Each interaction equals another chance to win one of the prizes.

8. Follow-up after the show.

Add prospects to your database and offer post-show networking opportunities (perhaps online at your site) so that people who met at your party can continue to interact with each other (and with you).

Your clients will be delighted, it would be remarkable, and people would talk about it.

Photo: calm a llama down